Whew! Does it feel like the past 30 days has flown by for anyone else?! We've done about 465 miles or so to date and what an awesome adventure it has been. Today was actually the first day we had a real problem. I was surprised to find my route blocked today by a very large and very active gold mine! It had not been there when I scouted that section of the trail a year and a half ago. The best laid plans, as they say! Unfortunately the mine wouldn't let us ride through or around so our only options were to turn around and go back or go way out of the way to the east and then work our way back to the original route. We opted for the second choice, which puts us a little behind schedule.
Compounding the problem was that today we were supposed to cross Interstate 80. The original route (through the gold mine) would have let us cross at a very quiet and seldom used underpass. Going out of the way with the reroute put us at an exit with an overpass! I have never taken Sage over an overpass, let alone one over an interstate! But, we pressed on - and in his usual fashion, Sage walked across the overpass and was totally fine. Also, interstate exits here have cattle guards but no gates. Luckily we knew that in advance and came prepared. Ryan has been hauling a piece of plywood in the bed of the truck which we laid over the cattle guard so Sage could walk across. We hadn't practiced in advance, but Sage bravely crossed the plywood behind me.
But it it hasn't all been that dramatic. We've ridden through amazing ranges with stunning views where it felt like we were a million miles from civilization! We've seen tons of animals - antelope, deer, and two up close encounters with bull elk! Amazing! We've also seen lots of wild horses - and had our share of sleepless nights defending camp (and Sage) from their attack! It's scary to wake up to the sound of thundering hooves in the darkness! Sage also saw his first flock of sheep, which he did not care for too much.
Everyone is holding up well. Sage is super fit and muscled. He's eager to hit the trail each morning and has really picked up the pace. Bella has been doing some miles with us each day, generally in the morning when it's cooler. Ryan is looking more and more like a mountain man and is taking good care of us. I have lost quite a few pounds (my extreme diet plan! Haha) and have acquired quite the tan.
This week we'll try to get back on route and make our way to Jarbige. As usual cell service will be spotty at best, but I'll update when I can. Thanks for following along with our adventure and for all your well wishes! It means a lot :)
The latest updates from Samantha on the Nevada Discovery Ride.